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Nothing ‘drastic’ for Aussies as Warner era ends

Australia v India: Super Eight - ICC Men's T20 Cricket World Cup West Indies & USA 2024
David Warner and Virat Kohli embrace in Saint Lucia. Picture: Gareth Copley/Getty Images

Australian selectors baulked at including batting dynamo Jake Fraser-McGurk for a T20 World Cup campaign that never reached the heights they expected but “drastic” change is unlikely to the team going forward according to pace veteran Josh Hazlewood.

The quick bowler was one of 10 players aged over 30 in the 15-man squad, with the only certain shift the next time the T20 side comes together is the absence of David Warner who officially retired from all international cricket after Australia’s 24-run loss to India ended their World Cup campaign.

Any faint hope of progression to the semi-finals was snuffed out by Afghanistan’s last-gasp win over Bangladesh.

At 33, Hazlewood has given no indication of moving on from the shortest format having played in all but one of Australia’s seven games at the World Cup, snaring 1-14 in the loss to India that put their tournament in peril.

But knowing the next chance to lift the trophy comes around in 2026, Hazlewood said, in the immediate aftermath, there were no signs of a mass clean-out of players who didn’t get the job done in the Caribbean.

“They come around pretty quick, the T20 World Cups, every two years,” he said.

Cricket: Men's T20 World Cup, Super Eight, B2 v A1
Josh Hazlewood isn’t expecting drastic changes to the T20 team. Picture: Chandan Khanna / AFP

“There might be a couple of changes, but a lot of the guys still play in the franchise cricket if they’re not playing for Australia, so they’re available to be picked.

“There’s some class players in our 15, and we’ve got a couple on the bench as well. So, you’d think it’d be an actual slow change. I don’t think there’d be anything drastic.”

Warner, who battled a hand issue in the lead-up to the tournament, still managed 178 runs from his seven innings in the tournament. But he made just nine runs in his final two innings, signing off with just six in the unsuccessful run chase against India.

The Australian team has had a taste of life without Warner in both the Test and ODI formats, but while Hazlewood said the veteran would be missed, it was important for the Aussies to “push forward”.

Australia v India: Super Eight - ICC Men's T20 Cricket World Cup West Indies & USA 2024
David Warner and Virat Kohli embrace after what could be Warner’s final international. Picture: Gareth Copley/Getty Images

But not before celebrating an “unbelievable” career.

“We’ll definitely miss him around the group, out on the field and off the field. He’s had an amazing all-format career,” Hazlewood said.

“We’ve had Test cricket and ODI cricket and now T20s. You’ve gotten used to it a bit in New Zealand (not having Warner there).

“It’s always different when you lose a player that’s been there for so long. We’ll move on and push forward.”